Wider-than-Expected Q3 Loss at Alnylam

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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (ALNY) third quarter 2013 loss of 48 cents per share was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 38 cents per share. The company incurred a loss of 38 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The wider loss was primarily due to lower net revenues.

Quarter in Detail

Revenues for the reported quarter fell 46.4% from the prior year to $9.0 million. Revenues were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Revenues in the third quarter of 2013 included $5.5 million from its collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TKPYY), in addition to $3.5 million from the company’s alliance with a couple of other companies. Alnylam’s net revenues from research collaborators declined in the reported quarter as the company has already recognized its collaboration revenues from the company’s former alliance with Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST).

Alnylam expects its fourth quarter 2013 revenues to remain around $9 million.

Research and development (R&D) expenses went up approximately 56.0% to $34.5 million. The increase in R&D expenses was primarily due to the company’s efforts to advance its pipeline. Alnylam expects R&D expenses to decrease a bit in the fourth quarter of 2013 because of lower stock-based compensation expenses.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses in the reported quarter decreased approximately 47.2% year over year to $6.8 million. The decrease in G&A expenses was primarily attributable to lower consulting and professional services expenses. Alnylam expects fourth quarter G&A expenses to remain consistent with the third quarter.

Maintains 2013 Cash Balance Projection

Alnylam still expects to end 2013 with cash, cash equivalents and total marketable securities in excess of $320 million.

Pipeline Update

We are impressed by Alnylam’s efforts to develop its pipeline. The company also has multiple pipeline related activities in the coming quarters. Alnylam is set to initiate a phase II on ALN-TTRsc in patients suffering from familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy by Dec 31, 2013. ALN-TTRsc is a ribo nucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutic targeting the transthyretin (:TTR) gene that is being developed for the treatment of TTR-mediated amyloidosis (:ATTR).

Alnylam is also developing patisiran (ALN-TTR02) in a phase II study for the treatment of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (:FAP) in patients suffering from ATTR. Full results from the study are expected to be presented at the International Symposium on Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy soon. The company also plans to initiate a phase III pivotal trial for patisiran in FAP patients by year end.

Apart from these candidates Alnylam has ALN-AT3 (hemophilia), ALN-AS1 (hepatic porphyrias) and ALN-PCSsc (hypercholesterolemia) in its pipeline. We expect investor focus to remain on the development of the company’s pipeline.

Alnylam, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Biopharma stocks, such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), are comparatively well placed with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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